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Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Entry 43: 1960 The Church Men's Trips

Every year the men in our church took two trips.  In the spring they’d go to Yosemite for two or three days of camping.  They always came home with tales of the cold river, endless pranks they'd played, and the bears they’d encountered.   

In the summer the men would go on a deep sea fishing trip in Monterey.  They’d come home with smelly gunny sacks (burlap bags) full of fish. They’d undo the twine and let me look in the bags.  There were ice chunks mixed in with the fish.  Each one of the fellows would be boasting about their catch.  I remember one time Dan Baptista and uncle Wally picked out chunks of ice from one of the sacks of fish and offered me a piece.  I refused it and remember screaming when they put the ice in their mouths and began making sounds from deep in his throat like it was the best treat ever.
There in the church parking lot, as they divided up their catch, each man eagerly claimed to have caught the fish which gave the hardest fight.  They each poked fun at their fishing buddies.  And, of course, they each told their story of the big one that got away.  As the wives parked and began collecting their husbands the stories were told again and again.  The stories changed, the fight in the fish, the size of the fish, and how many got away changed each time I heard them.  The fullest gunny sacks would begin to empty into the sacks not so full.  Everyone went home happy and with more fish than any of them really wanted!
David usually went on the trips too so it would be just mom, me, and baby Phillip left at home.  Mom always tried to make the times when the men were gone special “girl time” with me.  We’d visit grandma Stevens, mom would do some special project with me, and she’d always make a huge strawberry shortcake!  I don’t need to say she’d make homemade shortcake either because in “those days” that was all there was.  She’d stack up layers of warm cake, juicy berries, and whip cream until they were so tall they would topple over.  I remember eating until I felt sick because every bite was so delicious.  She made enough for a dozen people and we’d have it again for breakfast the next morning.

 When the guys would unload their stuff and start telling their stories I would just look at mom and smile.  I didn’t care how much they boasted about their adventures because to me my time with mom was better!


  1. I would take shortcake and stawberries over deep sea fishing anyday.

    But on the other hand.... I took two of those fishing drips with your Dad, Dan Baptista, and other men. Virginia Matthew and I were the only women. I caught a ton of ling cod. I had bruises on the inside of my thighs from trying to hole my fishing pole. (That's probably to much information)...anyway what I remember is your Dad trying to get those that felt sick to eat his bologne sandwich and pickle, which would send them to the rail to upchuck again, with his laughter in the background.
    Oh dear the memories!!!!!

  2. Wanda,,,Larry says we were on one of those trips with you and Virginia....I don't remember I guess I am always 99% concerned not to get sick and 1% interested in fishing....I probably need to apologize for not talking to you....lol!

  3. your story is great and the comment dialogue is too!

  4. Laurie...those fishing trips went on for years...I had forgotten Larry and I went with the church the first time we went....fun times....


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